Shredder Review – Needs More Delicacy
If there’s one kind of sport that interests me, it’s snowboarding. That and skateboarding. I guess I like anything with planks. Well, except for board games. Anyway, my love of the board has been a real shame over the last generation because while skate games are enjoying a renaissance, snowboard games have almost completely disappeared.
What was once a genre filled with notable titles like SSX and Amped has now become an individual sport among many in Rider’s Republic and Steep. These games do that well, but I’ve wanted something purely dedicated to snowboarding for a while now, and Shredders is here to do just that.
At its core, Shredders is a budget snowboard skate. If that doesn’t give you a clear picture right off the bat then damn it I guess I better write a bit more about it but if you’re a fan of board games it’s probably enough to interest you from the start.
Shredders has you playing as the second member of Shreddageddon, a YouTube channel with 20 subscribers trying to make it big. They decide to shred some flags and end up working with 540 Indy to slowly gain attention.
As soon as Scotty, the gossip of your internet duo, opened his mouth and spat out a few YouTubers at me, I thought that was going to be the worst part of Shredders, but it ended up being one of my favorites. The two main characters, Scotty and Lisa, bounce off each other really well and there’s a great ironic nature to it all. It’s kind of funny when it wants to be, like when Scotty asks a French snowboarder to say “five hundred and forty” and keeps confusing it with the pouring carrot. It’s stupid, but it has a lot of heart.
Of course, it’s also very frustrating at times, with an example of the phrase “peace on brussels sprouts” almost making me want to stop playing games altogether. Unlike Riders Republic, which cringes at all the bad corporate manners, you can tell it’s done with love here, like a dad who finds himself funny. There’s also a good mix of love for the sport, with real snowboarders like Zeb Powell and Jamie Anderson making appearances that make things feel a bit more authentic.
The story and characters were a surprising positive from Shredders, but it’s really all about snowboarding. This is where the comparison to Skate comes in, because instead of pressing buttons that allow you to easily perform 900s, you instead use the right stick to control the board and influence the trick you are going to do.
Here, something as simple as spinning through the air multiple times can be quite tricky to pin down due to the way the gameplay is physics-based. You need to learn how your board controls and put a lot of power into pirouettes, setting them up before you fly off a ramp. At first I hated it and wanted the instant serotonin of something like SSX, but as I learned to do some tricks and understand the basics it became much more satisfying.
Luckily, Shredders also shows how extremely fast snowboarding can be, as you can bombard it downhill with little effort, making it easy to find another ramp to try and pull off a few tricks. Not that Shredders will help you fully understand the cheats, because there’s no list of cheats in sight here. All you have are the loading screen cheats, which just aren’t very helpful.
For something that makes performing tricks such a cool moment for the player, it’s a shame it doesn’t help you more and rely on you to memorize it or get lucky in the moment. The lack of a proper cheat list is likely due to Shredders’ low budget, but that doesn’t make it any less boring when I forget how to prepare for a jump for the eightieth time.
In some ways, low budget Shredders work great for this. Not only does he make groundbreaking jokes about it during cutscenes, but he also feels a lot more focused because of it. You won’t find Ubisoft-sized worlds here, and I’m grateful for that.
On the other hand, there are some elements where the budget lets the game down a bit. what snow feels like, shut up) and is more like someone pumping static electricity into your ears. Other noises like creaking and clattering in things also sound pretty bad, but snow is the most prominent considering how important it is to the game as a whole.
There’s not much meat on the bones here either. Story mode can be completed in around two hours depending on your commitment to completing all of the bonus objectives, and there are only a few side missions and collectibles to find in the world. It’s really a game to spin around and have fun with, rather than something to focus on.
I ended up feeling the same about Shredders versus SSX as I did Tony Hawk and Skate. I prefer the fast-paced arcade action of the first, but the second is a good time as well. I’d like to see the core gameplay and vibe of Shredders with a bit more budget, because there’s something special hidden under all the snow.
Shredders is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC. We tested the Xbox Series X version for this review. The review code was provided by the publisher.
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